Two weeks after a father and son duo was arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, a third man, William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr., has been arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The GBI lodged Bryan in the Glynn County Jail.
From the very start, Arbery’s family have pled with the authorities to charge Bryan in the death of the Black jogger. Several videos show that Abrery frequently exercised in this predominately white subdivision — where the trio Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and Bryan live.
According to a statement given to police by Gregory McMichael early in the investigation, Bryan made attempts to help them stop Arbery. Lawyers representing the Arbery’s family believe the trio chased Arbery for about four minutes before the McMichael pickup truck cornered him.
Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, contends that Bryan is not guilty because he did not have a gun during the assault on Arbery. Gough fails to consider the State only has to prove his client attempted to commit false imprisonment of Arbery, which is the underlining felony that led to his death.
Under the felony murder rule, you do not have to be the triggerman to be guilty of murder. The mere participation in a felony that leads to death is enough to gain a conviction and send Bryan to prison for the rest of his life.
Based on the statement of Gregory McMichael, it appears that Bryan attempted to imprison Abrery under false pretenses.
Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.